Losing Your Way

I don’t expect it surprised many to get confirmation this week that America does in fact torture suspects of terrorism. The post 9/11 pattern has been clear for some time now – the end is defeating “terror”, the means don’t matter. To this end the alternative tragedy to people getting killed in a terrorist attack is America continually becoming less so.

The Patriot Act passed with a single dissenting voice in the Senate, signing away unprecedented liberty in the name of security. Our government has since continued to spy on their own citizens, initiate programs of mass surveillance, subvert cryptography standards, and compromise the integrity of American businesses, all done behind closed doors in secretive courts.

We’ve involved ourselves in wars that have killed an order of magnitude more Americans than 9/11 itself did. We torture terror suspects and call it “enhanced interrogation” despite it involving things that I don’t even want to publish here. None of it matters because we are fighting terror.

Elected officials bald face lie to their electorate.

Appointed officials perjure congress with impunity.

No one is held accountable for this. No one will be held accountable for this.

It’s hard to even discuss these things publicly because partisanship chokes reason and patriotism beats restraint. Under the guise of “protecting our freedom” nearly anything has become permissible. This has mostly just become a marketing expression that signifies “see, it’s for FREEDOM!”, or is parroted by corporations and people alike to signify what a good dude they are. This isn’t a red or blue thing, in case you are trying to decide where to add the tally. I want nothing to do with that. This is about human rights.

And since I’m dangerously close to touching the third rail, let’s clarify:

  • You can denounce violence in our government without denouncing America.
  • You can call out police brutality and question their use of lethal force without hating cops.
  • You can value your civil liberties without having something to hide.

More troubling to me though is how ardently swaths of my personal network have defended the most Machiavellian shades of current events. Friends who are justifying war crimes, condoning torture, shrugging at gross abuses of power, saluting the deaths of unarmed black men. America is in many ways steeped in violence and lawlessness, so I shouldn’t be surprised when it trickles down.

I know, I know – log off bro, and I usually do. I’m not one to sit back and just point out stupidity, but sometime it’s just relentless. Sometimes it’s soaked in racism. Sometimes it’s tribal politicking that stands for nothing more than the inverse of the other guy. And it’s almost always missing the point.

2 Responses to “Losing Your Way”

  1. Pam says:

    Well written! I am so proud of you to voice your opinion!

  2. Nate says:

    Don’t stop speaking up. There is a right and a wrong and your network cannot pretend there is a party line on Eric Garner, torture rape, or mass surveillance.

%d bloggers like this: